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Four ways to keep miles from expiring

SmarterTravel

Your miles are at risk of disappearing, and only you can keep them safe. Over the past few years, several major airlines have adjusted their mileage expiration policies, causing miles to disappear after just 18 to 24 months of inactivity. Many of these new rules apply retroactively, so you’ll need to revive languishing accounts before the year’s end.

If you don’t have plans to fly in the next few months, don’t panic. Here are four easy ways to extend the life of your miles without leaving home.

  • Earn: Any type of mileage earning will keep your old miles (plus a few new ones) safe in your account. You can shop at a mileage mall, earn miles with your airline-affiliated credit card, sign up for phone or Internet service, eat out at a restaurant, and even get your clothes dry cleaned, as long as it’s with a mileage-awarding partner company. Check your airline’s website for a full list of eligible partners.
  • Burn: Draining your mileage account will also extend the life of any remaining miles. You can book an award ticket or use miles to buy goods or services through the airline. If you have no travel plans, look at sites such as redeemAAMiles or OnePass Online Auction for inspiration.
  • Buy: If you can’t think of a single thing you want and time is of the essence, you can always purchase miles. It’s a pricey way to gain miles, but you will prevent your existing stash from disappearing. Check with your airline for mileage prices and minimum purchase amounts.
  • Donate: Finally, you can extend the life of your miles while you make the world a better place. Most airlines allow frequent flyers to donate miles to specific charities, so others can travel to provide disaster relief, seek medical treatment, or join their families in times of need.

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